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Prudential Eye Awards: Inaugural Awards for Emerging Contemporary Asian Artists to Launch in Singapore

Singapore, 14 November 2013: The inaugural Prudential Eye Awards will launch in Singapore on 18 January 2014 at Suntec City. These new international contemporary art awards celebrate and recognise emerging artistic talent from across greater Asia.

The Awards offer a platform for contemporary Asian artists from over thirty countries to participate in a global event which will recognise excellence in Photography, Painting, Sculpture, Installation and Digital/ Video. Additional awards will celebrate achievement by an exhibition of Asian art, an award for excellence by an emerging gallery in greater Asia, and outstanding contribution by an artist to Asian contemporary art.

Shortlisted artists from each discipline will feature in an exhibition at Singapore’s Suntec City, from 16 January to 5 February 2014, which will be free to the public. Five category winners will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held on 18 January. One overall winner will go on to be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London, UK in the summer of 2014.

The Prudential Eye Awards are founded by the Global Eye Programme, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting emerging artists, established by Parallel Contemporary Art in collaboration with Saatchi Gallery. Prudential is the title sponsor of the Awards, having previously supported Indonesian Eye (2011) and Hong Kong Eye (2013) exhibitions - collectively known as Asian Eye. To date, the Global Eye Programme has held 17 exhibitions worldwide and been viewed by over two million people. In addition, Prudential will work with the British Council as an education partner to organise a series of activities to promote arts appreciation to students and youth in Singapore.

Artists will be nominated by a group of experts in the field of Asian art and judged by an independent panel featuring Serenella Ciclitira, Founder, Parallel Contemporary Art; Nigel Hurst, CEO, Saatchi Gallery; Tsong-Zung Chang, Co-Founder, Asia Art Archive; Sir David Green, former Director-General, British Council; Nick Mitzevich, Director, Art Gallery of Southern Australia; Lee Young Hye, Creative Director, Gwangju Design Biennale; Andreї Erofeev, independent curator and critic; and Tan Boon Hui, Group Director, Programmes Group, National Heritage Board of Singapore. The winner of each category will be awarded a prize of US$20,000 and the overall winner will receive a further US$30,000 with the opportunity to exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery in London.

David Ciclitira, Co-Founder of Parallel Contemporary Art, said:

"Since launching the Global Eye Programme and Asian Eye, we have become very aware that many artists in Asia do not get the international recognition they deserve. By establishing these awards, we will be offering a launch-pad for emerging talent. Our expert judging panel, gala awards ceremony, and prizes will give artists the resources they need to exhibit abroad; this is a first-of-its kind not only in Asia, but in the world. With its burgeoning arts scene, a thriving art week with Art Stage, and a Government committed to supporting the community's creative talents, Singapore was the natural location to host these Awards."

Nigel Hurst, CEO of Saatchi Gallery, said:

"These Awards are a wonderful opportunity for emerging Asian artists to get their works seen by an international audience. The Prudential Eye Awards provide vital support and a showcase for new talent at an important stage in these artists’ careers. We look forward to hosting the winner at Saatchi Gallery in the summer in 2014."

Tan Boon Hui, Group Director, Programmes Group, National Heritage Board said:

"Asia is now one of the most important art producing regions in the world and yet the region is more diverse than we realise and has many more exceptional artists that should be seen by the world. The new Prudential Eye Awards, and its recognition of Asian talents, has the potential to further strengthen Asian contemporary art’s presence on the global stage."

Barry Stowe, Chief Executive of Prudential Corporation Asia spoke about Prudential’s commitment to support local communities through their sponsorships and desire to celebrate artistic expression in Asia. He commented:

“We hope that the Prudential Eye Awards will broaden the audience who experience and appreciate Asian art. We are committed to the long-term development and prosperity of Asia, and we hope these Awards will inspire creativity and expand community engagement with the arts.”

Alongside the Awards, Prudential, which includes insurance business Prudential Assurance Company (Singapore) and asset manager, Eastspring Investments (Singapore Limited), is working on a partnership with the British Council in Singapore to leave a legacy through creative education.

Stephen Forbes, East Asia Regional Programmes Director of the British Council, said:

“The British Council is looking forward to working with the Prudential and Global Eye Programme on this exciting programme in Singapore. The Awards bring together our shared interests in the arts and in encouraging creativity. Creativity, for the British Council, is an essential element of education for people embarking on their careers in the 21st Century. We are confident that, working through teachers, the natural creativity of young people can be nurtured and developed.”


Prudential Singapore Young Artist Award

As part of its commitment to supporting local communities, Prudential is sponsoring a contemporary art prize for young Singaporean artists in partnership with in partnership with LASALLE College of the Arts, which will be announced alongside the Prudential Eye Awards. The Prudential Singapore Young Artist Award will provide one winning artist with a US$10,000 prize.

Tomas Urbanec, CEO of Prudential Singapore said:

“With the Prudential Singapore Young Artist Award and our arts education support, we hope to foster a greater appreciation of art among the younger generation in Singapore and inspire them to participate in, and drive, the developing art scene today and in the future.”

Please contact Sophie Campos